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tv   BBC World News America  PBS  November 2, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT

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funding is made possible by the freeman foundation, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation and union bank. >> at union bank our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business strategies and opportunities of international commerce.
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we put our extended global network to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> this is bbc world news america reporting from washington. i'm kathy kay. armed with new job numbers and old attack lines, the two candidates for president begin their final pitches. the new york marathon cancelled amid suffering after sandy. residents of staten island say they've been forgotten. >> this is new york city, the financial capital of the world. putting right what's happened here is going to take many months and maybe longer. >> and getting ready for new leaders in china. tonight we continue our series
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of special reports on the challenges they'll face. >> welcome to our viewers on public television in america and also around the globe. with just four days to go before the u.s. presidential election, a new jobs report is fueling arguments on the campaign trail. it seems to have something for everyone. president obama is time-outing that more jobs were -- touting that more jobs have been created than were expected. romney says the overall elm ploit rate is actually up. now starts the weekend blitz and the bbc's adam brooks has been watching the reaction for us. >> the voter in the state of ohio --
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>> in 2008 we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the great depression. today our businesses have created nearly 5 1/2 million new jobs and this morning we learned the companies hired more workers in october than at any time in the last eight months. >> new jobs were created in america in october. 171,000 of them, many in health care, retail and business services. many more people returned to the workforce, possibly a sign of economic optimism. but still these are not numbers to excite a tired and skittish electorate. mitt romney, campaigning in wisconsin, trying to erode mr. obama's support in the midwest. he took the job's numbers as support for the central plank of his campaign, but the u.s. economy has failed to recover. >> he said he was going to
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focus on creating jobs. instead he focused on obamacare, which killed jobs. he said he was going to cut the federal deficit in half, and then he doubled it. he said he was going to lower the unemployment rate down to 5.2% right now. today we learned that it's actually 7.9%, and that's nine million jobs short of what he promised. >> mr. romney's campaign is snapping at the heels of the incumbent president. his campaign organizers say they can and will win, but they can win only if they take the vital swing states of florida, virginia and ohio. anything less than the prospects receive for them. >> this race is very, very close. it may confound pollsters and pundits alike. it's not clear how or if hurricane sandy will affect the results, but i think we can venture this far -- president obama appears to be holding on
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to a very narrow lead. adam brooks, bbc news, washington. >> bold predictions in a tight race. as adam just reported, no state is more hotly contested than ohio. laura is in cleveland for us tonight at a cleveland market for us tonight, laura. i imagine you've been chatting to shoppers today. what have they been telling you about the state of this race? >> well, it's very interesting. the one thing that you hear above anything else is that people are totally and utterly fed up with the political ads on television. i counted 16 last night. so the major sense of it is we're really waiting for this all to be over. but, yes, people feel flaccid in a way that this is such an important thing and it matters so much, but everyone is taking it very seriously, whether they tell you how they're going to vote or not. the sense you get here is that the economy is performing better than in the rest of the country and that is in part due
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to the fact that there was a bailout of the auto industry here, a car manufacturing being a big business here, so that's been a cushion, really. unemployment is 7% association that's below the national average. but it's also a very tight race and the president really blew it in the first debate, and since then they've faced an uphill battles. so the republicans are more confident about their chances in florida than they do about their chances here in ohio. >> laura, when i think about the obama campaign, ohio says we know we're going to win it. when i speak to republicans they say absolutely we're going antoine it. there's a lot more enthusiasm for mitt romney than there's been before. who am i to believe? >> nobody. i think the one thing that is true about ohio is that it's atypical in the sense that the president is doing badly
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amongst white men and white working-class men in particular around the country. although romney has been eroding the slight advantage here in ohio with white working class men, what helps the president here is that bailout of the auto industry because that is helping him with his key demographics. so if it really in the end is about ohio and the 18 votes here, then it may be that something has distorted the race here and helped the president. but nobody yet really even dares to call it. the one thing that both sides are saying very clearly is that early voting is very important. a quarter of the state has already voted and half may have vote bid polling day itself. traditionally early voting is the democrats, but this time rms have been working very hard on -- republicans have been working very hard on it, too. >> laura there for us in
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cleveland. thanks very much, laura. beyond the impact on the presidential election, the aftermath of superstorm sandy is making life very difficult for millions who are still without electricity. more than 90 people are now believed to have been killed in the storm and anger is rising in new york's staten island. >> some homes are completely gone. others ripped apart by a storm like no other this quiet community has ever known. >> these are my people, these are my neighbors for over 20 years, people that you commoffer day of your life and you say hi -- know every dave your life that you say hi to. it's gone. their lives are gone. >> the clear-up is daunting and slow. it's been four days now and
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many here are feeling abandoned. >> i got nobody here yet. nobody came to my door yet. >> nobody. the storm was on monday night, it's now friday. >> nobody has been here. somebody get here, help us, please. >> there are police in the snabed, and as we filmed they detained a young man suspected of looting. >> did you make your way through a eerily quiet neighborhood like this and see people's possessions on the ground, homes, like this one here, completely obliterated, it really is hard to comprehend that this is new york city, the financial capital of the world. and putting right what's happened here is going to take many months and maybe longer. >> back on the main road this was the cue to buy petrol. supplies are low, tempers being tested, as strangers are thrown together in misery, some struggling to make sense of what's happened. >> it's a disaster, a disaster.
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and i say we could not -- god does not want people to go through this thing. i don't know what's happening. i don't even know what i'm saying. all i know is that it's terrible, terrible, terrible. and we're going to be voting. i don't know how we're going to go out to vote. >> the community will move forward, too, as new york always does. but much has been lost here. steve kingston, bbc news, staten island. >> sadness there on staten island. just a short time ago i should say that new york's mayor, michael bloomberg, has announced that the city's marathon which was due to be held this sunday has been cancelled. for more, i'm joined from new york by the bbc's ben thompson. ben, as steve was reporting, there has been a lot of controversy over whether the marathon should go ahead. what's behind this final decision? >> yeah. many people here in new york --
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staten island is really still a dissenter of recovery efforts in the wake of hurricane sandy. incidentally, staten island is where the new york marathon begins every year. that marathon then passes through fire boroughs of new york city. but a lot of conservativecy here that resources should be better used to make sure that the reese cue efforts are completed and that people are back in safety. although that the facilities should be used to make sure the power is back on. still thousands of people here in new york city and beyond still do not have power. within the last few minutes we've had a statement from the mayor's office. i just want to bring you some of that. they say that while holding the race would not require the diversion of resources from the recovery efforts, it's clear it's become a source of controversy. we wouldn't want a cloud to hang over the race and its participants, so they've decided to cancel it. as i said, the move that many
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people here had been calling for. >> what was the mayor's reason originally for going ahead with the marathon? >> it is a big u-turn. just a couple hours ago in his press conference mayor bloomberg said he was adamant that this race would go ahead. he said it would send a message to the rest of the world that the new york recovery operation was well underway and that new york was back in business. it seems that pressure had been mounting all afternoon, especially given the pictures and the images that are emerging from places like staten island. it's very easy to see new york is getting back up and running, especially in the northern part of the city where life is returning somewhat to normal. but you see some of the images coming out of areas like staten island where people are still underwater, they are still without houses, heating, electricity, and a lot of basic amenities that you would take for granted. and really it seems that pressure has got too far and it means they have decided now to cancel sunday's race. >> it's amazing, ben, how very different the city looks.
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ben thompson on that decision from the mayor to cancel the new york city marathon. you are watching bbc world news america. still to come -- we return to the u.s. presidential campaign with a look at how a romney white house could change the policies of washington. >> images of soldiers taking a break from the horrors of world war i are taking center stage in a new exhibition. the photos were taken by a french councilman and sold as postcards to the soldiers -- a french couple and sold as postcards to the soldiers. >> the picture where he died,
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to have this portrait taken by those photographers is not far from the trenches is quite poignant, really. >> the photos were taken on this camera by an enterprising french couple. for more than a century the negatives lay in this trunk in the attic of a french farmhouse. they were discovered last year and brought to australia to be developed. >> it was just behind the front line and it was far enough to be safe, but very close to feed troops up to the fronts so it became an important rest areas. >> the soldiers used the photos as postcards, some telling their families they were surviving the trenches, others, how they missed home. >> sent such powerful messages. "i'm alive" is the first one. "i'm well." >> the collection of 800 photos has been described as one of
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the most significant world war i finds of recent years. offering up a glimpse of life after one battle and the wait before the next. experiences etched on faces and recorded for others to share. duncan kennedy, bbc news in sydney. >> let's take a look at some other stories from around the world now. a strike which has been brought the kenyan port of mombasa to a standstill has been called off after letters of employment were issued to casual workers. the letters give workers permanent jobs. the strike, which was in its second day, had disrupted loading at the port, which is the again gateway for east african trade. japan has lodged a formal complaint with the ambassador after an assault on a teenager by a u.s. soldier.
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he is said to have hit a 13-year-old boy. the man then fell from a window and was taken to hospital. turning now to our top story -- the u.s. presidential election. for more than a year we've been watching the nominees campaign for the job and with just days to go it's time to consider what would actually happen if they got it. for president obama, well, his track record gives us a pretty good idea. but what about his challenger? >> on his long journey to the white house we've seen the evolution of mitt romney the candidate. >> and i fought against long odds in a deep blue state, but i was a severely conservative republican governor. >> with four days until an election, he has a real chance of winning, it's time to consider what mitt romney, the president, would do. >> washington is broken. i know what it takes to get this country back and we'll work with good democrats and good republicans to do that. [applause]
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america has always been basically a center right country. i don't think that's changed much, and i don't think you'll see mr. romney drag it radically to the right. that's not really him. >> we don't know who the real mitt romney is. who he is seems to depend upon who he's talking to, which constituency he aims to please. >> in these days before the election and after sandy, washington is a pretty gloomy place, quite why anyone would want to run this place is a bit of a mystery. but if mr. romney does win it will be precisely because he has capitalized on america's uncharacteristically pessimistic mood, promising a sunnier vision of the future, fueled by conservative faith in lower taxes and less regulation. >> those people in this country who want real change from day one are going to vote for paul ryan and myself, and i need your help. [applause] >> how does america change if mitt romney is president? >> america chances in two
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significant ways. the first is he does try to do a tax reform that's long overdue. we haven't had a significant tax reform since 1986, and the second is, waste the future of the safety net and the old wage and low-income programs? it's a very different vision there. >> in the waning hours of his bid for the white house, mitt romney has pitched himself as a candidate of compromise. he talks about working with good democrats to get america moving again. and it is exactly what this bit earl divided country really -- bitterly divided country really needs. but there's a hitch. his priorities may make that compromise simply impossible. >> what the court did not do on its last day in session, i will do on my first day if elected president of the united states, and that is i will act to repeal obamacare. >> mr. obama's experience on capitol hill should be a warning. the odds are --
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>> i don't know what his definition of a good democrat is, other than someone who will abandon the core principles of the democratic party. >> and if that president is relegated to the heap of one-term losers, democrats will be in no mood to play nice on anything mr. romney wants to do. abroad, as at home, the most powerful man in the world is perhaps less powerful than he seems. whoever wins next tuesday must operate within a limited bandwidth. that's not to say there aren't real differences. but as mr. obama has found, offering whole scale change is
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a promise that's hard to live up to. >> well, for more on the job awaiting whoever wins the keys to the white house on tuesday, i spoke with don mcmanus, the washington columnist for "the los angeles times." that report is not easy to offer full-scale change in the system that america has. but it is right, isn't it, that the vision that mitt romney have and the vision that barack obama have is quite different. >> oh, it is different. it's a classic american debate between the idea of an expansive activist federal government -- that's obama, of course -- and a minimal, smaller, shrinking federal government, that's mitt romney. so for all the talk of bipartisanship we've heard in the last two weeks from both candidates, there's not a lot of bipartisanship out there. >> when you speak to republican voters, you've been out around the country a lot, there is a real sense that they are very angry with what's this president has done to the country in terms of expanding government. do democrats feel the same
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about what mitt romney would do if he were president? >> they do, although in a sense it's a bit below the surface, since they're not experiencing it right now. but we have a similar experience under george w. bush, who tried briefly to governor as a kind of bipartisan moderate, but then turned markedly conservative. so in those days you have the same kind of democratic rage against that republican president that you now have in reverse. it's very difficult to see where the middle ground would be for either of these candidates, and it won't be any easier if we have a narrow result, because that will mean the new president, whoever he is, doesn't have a terrificcally strong mandate from the public. won't be able to say, look, an enormous majority of the public wants to go my way. if this election is very narrow or even worse, contested, the president is going to have a very demanding job.
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>> when you speak to voters in ohio, everybody says they want compromise, they want to get things done. do they? >> no. by and large when you talk to american voters, and you've done this yourself, i know, yes, everybody wants compromise and everyone wants bipartisanship. but usually the definition of bipartisanship is the other side should come in my direction. so that's a hazard for any candidate, democrat or republican. if mitt romney is elected, he may want to be the moderate mitt we've seen in the last few weeks, but he's going to have a severely conservative caucus in the house of representatives that isn't going to want him to move to the center. he's going to have conservatives in the center who will be happy to criticize him. and he will have the bracing memories of the first george bush, george bush the elder, who made a promise -- no new taxes -- and then came under enormous fire from his own
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party when he broke that promise. >> i'm going to let you off the hook of predicting how the election is going to go on tuesday, but thank you very much. >> thank you. >> you can stay up to date with all the developments in the race to the white house by going to our website. we have a special page on the u.s. elections with interactive guides and videos. simply go to >> just as the u.s. election is taking center stage here in china, it's the communist party's meeting next week which will usher in a new generation of leaders. among the challenges facing them will be improving the country's infrastructure. no project has been bigger or more controversial. tonight martin travels there. >> it's one of the biggest dams ever built, stripping for over two kilometers and costing over $40 billion. the dam was designed to tame
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the mighty yank see. with a project on this scale, nobody was to get in the way. when the dam was completed these fishermen were told to leave. but they say it's the the the only job they know.
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like in other cities, the people here are becoming used to being better off. many are no longer prepared to be pushed around like in the past. and for china's new leaders, the population is less likely to follow the party line. bbc news. >> amazing pictures there of the three dams, two countries, two systems of government and two transitions of power. of course, we are watching both america and china. that brings today's program to a close. remember, of course, that you can get updates on many of our stories, including the u.s. election and the aftermath of
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superstorm sandy on our website. for all of us here, thank you so much for watching. have a great weekend. >> make sense of international news at the funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation and union bank. >> at union bank our relationship managers use their expertise in global finance to guide you through the business
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strategies and opportunities of international commerce. we put our extended global network to work for a wide range of companies, from small businesses to major corporations. what can we do for you? >> bbc "world news" was >> bbc "world news" was presented by
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